Engineered to Powerful PerfectionThe KANN series is a portable player lineup loved by audiophiles all over the world for its performance focused on high output and clear sound. KANN MAX, the fourth product in the KANN series, builds on the advantages of the KANN series with higher output and portability. It provides 4 levels of gain and up to 15Vrms output so that a wide array of headphones can be driven in an optimal state.
By integrating the proven design of KANN series into a lighter weight and smaller sized player, we have realized both ultra-high output and low noise. KANN MAX features ESS ES9038Q2M Quad-DAC together with Astell&Kern's unique audio technology to provide the best performance you can feel from a portable DAP. 4-step gain level with maximum 15Vrms output Perfect circuit design with ultra-high output and low noise in an even smaller sized player Equipped with ESS ES9038Q2M Quad-DAC that reproduces clear, exceptional output TERATON ALPHA, the epitome of Astell&Kern audio technology 32-bit/768kHz, Native DSD512 Support Bluetooth 5.0 and 24-bit codec (Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC) support ReplayGain that automatically adjusts volume to be consistent across tracks
Ultra-High Output in a Smaller Size Device
KANN MAX takes the identity of the series to the next level to provide a perfect experience with high power and clear sound. It provides 4 stages of gain level and ultra-high output of up to 15Vrms, which was previously only possible with a stationary headphone amplifier.
KANN MAX can perfectly drive even the most sophisticated headphones with high impedance.
KANN MAX offers a smaller size and weight than the KANN APLHA player, which boasted the best portability in the existing KANN series.
Although smaller in size, all power-related components have been analyzed and the power circuit has been redesigned several times to achieve 13 hours of continuous playback.
KANN Series Player Comparison
Perfect Circuit Design That Achieves Both Ultra-High Output and Low Noise
As the output increases, so does the noise level. KANN MAX is equipped with ultra-high output, does not allow any noise and conveys Astell&Kern's philosophy of delivering the original sound as it should be, without compromise. Together, we have completed the perfect circuit design to achieve this.
KANN MAX applies an analog volume controller to deliver a rich dynamic range without loss. By separately configuring the power supply IC for each Audio Block divided into DAC, Volume, and AMP, KANN MAX is designed to stably supply the power required for each Audio IC. Through this design, the interference ripple noise of the DC-DC power supply (the shaking noise phenomenon that occurs when power is supplied) is removed. Audio noise that can be heard amplified like audio sound in OP AMP is minimized.
Ultra-high output and low noise in the KANN MAX was achieved through different circuit design, including creating and dividing a limited PCB that is the same size as KANN ALPHA into 12 layers and reviewing the physical size of the device applied to the AMP circuit.
Quad-DAC Sound That Reproduces Clear and Overwhelming Sound Output
KANN MAX is the first player in the KANN series to be equipped with four ES9038Q2M DACs for high-output performance.
By applying Quad DACs, one DAC can be fully allocated to one channel, so the depth and realism of the sound source can be expressed to the fullest.
Combined with Astell&Kern's amplifier circuit technology that naturally and delicately raises the strengths of the DAC, and the perfect decoding ability of the DAC to deliver the original sound as it is, music output is expressed as the original sound without distortion.
Four DACs applied to KANN MAX, a power supply IC configured for each audio block, and a perfect circuit design produce ultra-high output and low noise, providing you with the best performance and sound that the KANN series is known for.
Gold PVD Output Coating
In order to minimize contact noise from the output jacks, a gold PVD coating methods is applied to the headphone connector instead of the typical rings used by other products. This improves both design and function.
32-Bit/768kHz, Native DSD512 Support
Bit-to-bit playback is available up to 32-bit/768Hz, and DSD playback is native up to 22.4MHz, for uncompressed sound quality, staying true to the artist’s original intention, in high-resolution and with minimal distortion.
Astell&Kern Audio Technology Forms the TERATON ALPHA Sound Solution
AK ULTIMATE SOUND SOLUTION, TERATON ALPHA
TERATON ALPHA is AK's ultimate Sound Solution to produce audio playback that is close to the original sound through the audio output interface by use of effective power noise removal, efficient power management and amplification with minimal distortion.
TERATON ALPHA features Astell&Kern's patented technologies, which are the result of tens of thousands of hours of continuous research and development to produce sound close to the original sound the artist and producer intended.
Equipped With Bluetooth 5.0 and Support for Wireless 24-Bit aptX HD, LDAC Codecs
The latest Bluetooth version provides high sound quality with the convenience of wireless playback to headphones and IEMs. Bluetooth 5.0 features faster transmission speed, greater range and a more stable wireless connection when compared to Bluetooth 4.2. Both LDAC and aptX HD are support to provide audiophiles with the best wireless sound possible.
Wireless Hi-Fi Sound Through BT Sink
The newly introduced BT Sink function connects the KANN MAX to an external device via Bluetooth, similar to connecting a smartphone with a BT speaker. Music from an external device, such as a smartphone can now be played back in high-quality on the KANN MAX using the BT Sink function.
ReplayGain Automatically and Uniformly Adjusts Playback Volume
ReplayGain, which adjusts sound sources with different volumes to an identical level, has been applied. Now, enjoy your own playlists seamlessly through the ReplayGain feature on KANN MAX.
*ReplayGain supports up to 24-bit/192kHz sound sources.
AK File Drop to Enjoy Wireless Transfers
The new AK File Drop function in the KANN MAX makes files transfers easier and more convenient. Using AK File Drop, you can freely transfer files wirelessly through a PC, smartphone, or FTP program located on the same network. Music file management is now possible with a cableless, wireless solution.
Real-Time Information Confirmed by Light
KANN MAX features a LED volume wheel which displays various playback information, including volume level and bit-rate of the track currently playing.
*LED can be turned on or off according to user setting.
Learn More. The MQA logo is a trademark of MQA Limited. © MQA Limited 2018
Qualcomm aptX is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. aptX is a trademark of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries. Learn More.
LDAC and LDAC logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation. Learn More.
KANN MAX has been visualized as Maximum while inheriting the bold concept of the KANN series to capture the overflowing horsepower of a high-performance sports car and the intense power of a rocket engine.
While the existing KANN series image was a heavy and strong image like an off-road car, with KANN MAX, we wanted to continue the identity of the Astell&Kern KANN lineup while boasting a thinner size and high-power performance like a high-performance sports car.
The slimmer shape is emphasized with the hexagonal top line that narrows sharply from the bottom up, and the hairline treatment on the back expresses the sense of speed and shows confidence that it can produce powerful output.
The wheel protectors wrapped around the volume wheel radiate sparks in the shape of a powerful engine mounted on them, giving off a strong image that looks like it will pop out at any moment.
The KANN MAX is made of an aluminum body, and is available in an Anthracite Gray edition that inherits the signature color of Astell&Kern, and a limited edition of Mud.
The KANN MAX Mud edition is produced in limited quantities, and the identity of the KANN series with its bold and heavy concept is enhanced using this bold color and look. Experience the identity of the KANN series with the delicate and sophisticated design of the Anthracite Gray color model, and the Mud color model with strength and luxury.
Anthracite Gray, Mud
4.1-inch, 720 x 1,280 touchscreen
Supported Audio Formats
WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DIFF, DSF, MQA
PCM: 8kHz ~ 768kHz (8/16/24/32-bits per Sample)
DSD Native: DSD64 (1-bit, 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1-bit, 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256 (1-bit, 11.2MHz), Stereo / DSD512 (1-bit, 22.4MHz), Stereo
[Low] Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
[Mid] Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
[High] Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)
[Super] Unbalanced 8Vrms / Balanced 15Vrms (Condition No Load)
ESS ES9038Q2M x 4 (Quad-DAC)
Support up to 32-Bit/768kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
USB Type-C Input (For Charging & PC & MAC)
Unbalanced Out (3.5mm), Optical Out (3.5mm)
Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported | 4.4mm, only 4-pole supported)
802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)
2.68" (68.3mm) [W] x 4.6" (117mm) [H] x 0.92" (23.6mm) [D]
About 10.76oz (305g)
Firmware upgrade supported (OTA)
0℃ ~ + 40℃ (32℉~ 104℉)
±0.023dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.026dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
114dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 115dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
-124dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ -135dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
0.0003% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Balanced
0.0007% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced │ 0.0007% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced
Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (1ohm) │ Balanced Out 2.5mm (1.6ohm), 4.4mm (1.6ohm)
Reference Clock Jitter
*Audio specifications will be based on Low Gain
microSD x 1 (Max. 1TB)
5,600mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer
About 3.5 hours (9V 1.67A Fast Charging) | 5.5 hours (5V 2A General Charging)
About 13 hours (Standard: FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz, Unbalanced, Vol. 40, LCD Off, LED On, Low Gain)
Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit); MAC OS X 10.7
Package contents include:
- KANN MAX Device x 1
- USB Type-C Cable x 1
- Quick Start Guide x 1
- Warranty Card x 1
- microSD Card Slot Cover x 2
- Protective Film (Front x 2, Back x 2)
KANN MAX User Guide
- KANN MAX User Guide - English
- KANN MAX User Guide - French
- KANN MAX User Guide - German
- KANN MAX User Guide - Japanese
- KANN MAX User Guide - Korean
- KANN MAX User Guide - Simplified Chinese
- KANN MAX User Guide - Spanish
- KANN MAX User Guide - Russian
- KANN MAX User Guide - Traditional Chinese
KANN MAX MAC OS Driver
KANN MAX is compatible with MAC OS X 10.7 and up. In order for a Mac computer to communicate with our device a MTP program will need to be installed.
How to install the program for file transfer:
- Disconnect Device from PC
- Download the file transfer driver at Android File Transfer site: http://www.android.com/filetransfer
- Install the file downloaded according to the provided directions on website.
- After successful installation, connect the device with the computer.
KANN MAX USB DAC Driver
Driver File: KANN MAX USB DAC Driver
- This is an integrated USB Audio driver for AK Devices. The previous USB DAC driver will need to be deleted from the AK Device prior to installing the new driver. To delete the previous driver, connect the AK Device to the computer and the previous Driver can be located in the "Contents" folder.
- This driver is for Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32/64bit). For MAC OS, the driver is automatically recognized without needing to be manually installed.
- Once the driver is installed for Windows PC, the device will be recognized automatically.
- To use the AK Device USB Audio as the default device, you may need to change the default output device option in the computer's Settings Menu.
- For high quality sound playback on Windows PC, it is recommended to change the default format to "24-bit, 192000Hz" for the AK Device in the Control Panel - Sound menu.
- For Native DSD playback, the music playback program must also be capable of Native DSD playback. Depending on the music playback program, you may need to change the audio device to AK Device USB Audio in Settings menu.
- For more information on using USB Audio, please refer to the AK Device's product manual.
How to Install the Driver
- Click the Download button on this page to download the USB DAC driver for your Windows computer. After running "setup.exe" file, click the [Next >] button.
- The installer will display the path of the driver to be installed.
- Click the [Install] button in the installer to complete the installation.
- When the installation is complete, the AK Device's USB DAC device driver is automatically installed. Click [Next >] → [Finish] button of the installer to complete the installation.
- Connect the AK Device in USB DAC mode to listen to music.